Some people can’t be alone-they need a mate. Why?
This was a topic that my friend Keba and I discussed over the weekend and I just had to write about it. There are some people who can’t be alone and they don’t even realize it. They don’t know how much emotional damage they’re inflicting on themselves because they go from relationship to relationship without a break for personal reflection and space – how can you give the next person you’re with the best of you when you don’t take the time you need to heal?
What is a break-up? A break-up is the complete dissolution of a relationship. That means a COMPLETE break. You’re not still sleeping with the person, you don’t see them from time to time, you’re not still legally married (I don’t care if you’ve been legally separated for 5 years – you are still MARRIED and that affects your thought process and the nature of any other romantic relationship(s) you may be in!), etc – it is a complete ending that is FORMAL.
You might also be asking, “Well, how much time does one need to heal?” It varies – everyone is different. But for long term relationships (relationships that lasted at least 2 years), and this is generally speaking, you need 6 months to heal for every year that you were with your ex. So, going with the 2 year theme, if you wanted to take the correct path for your personal healing, you would take 1 year off from dating to see where you are and think about the role YOU played and how it contributed to the demise of your relationship. Now, 6 months for every year, again, is a general rule – some people will heal at a slower pace, some faster.
Why is it that some people don’t take time to do that? There are so many reasons, and believe it or not, men are more likely to not take this time – women generally do take the time they need to reflect. Here are some reasons why we don’t take time to heal in between relationships:
1. After a break-up, you think you want a relationship, but you really just want the stability, joy, emotions, validation, and security a relationship is associated with. And it’s usually wanted immediately. So you go on doing and saying the things you associate with acquiring the relationship, and then being IN the relationship, believing what you feel at the time. You want a relationship, but not so much because of the PERSON but because of how they make you FEEL (If someone makes you feel good, that’s actually a great thing, but how do you really feel about the PERSON?). You might get called on this and deny it not just to the person you’re dating but to yourself, and many people would have a hard time recognizing, much less admitting this to themselves because it’s such an awful mistake to make because it involves another human being. But once you DO recognize, this, don’t be afraid to say so – you will be saving someone else, and even yourself, a lot of heartache. Don’t stay in a situation to save face or because you feel the need to prove something to yourself or to another person/other people; we ALL make mistakes or bad judgment calls from time to time, especially after a break-up, especially after a long-term one.
2. After a break-up, a new boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse creates more of a social life for you so that fixes the possibility of future loneliness. But you have got to take that time! You WILL feel lonely sometimes, even when you’re healed and with someone – loneliness is a part of life – it may not come often, but it does come around every once in awhile and you have to learn how to live with that!
3. The major reason why people rush into a new relationship:
To avoid the pain of the past relationship – they don’t want to think about it, and they don’t want to think about the part they played in the ending of the relationship. The bottom line is FEAR.
We are, as human beings, so afraid to look at ourselves in the mirror. But if we don’t take time off from dating to do that, you are not only hurting the next person in your life, you are hurting yourself, because eventually, at some point in your life, you WILL have to face that mirror, and when the years of personal reflection creeps up on you and forces you to look at who you really are, you are going to be so heavy with emotions that you may become depressed.
How you can tell that you’re ready for a new relationship:
1. You are no longer angry with your ex. AT ALL. You are indifferent.
2. You have re-connected with people in a non-romantic way.
3. You are comfortable being alone and even welcome it from time to time.
4. You really want to be with someone new because you genuinely like who they are, flaws and all (well, the flaws that you know of!) as opposed to what they might mean in your life, what they represent in your life, who they may be on paper, what people think of you and/or the new relationship or because they cater to your every need.
5. You don’t still secretly desire your ex. Or maybe someone else…or other people!
6. The big one: YOU TRUST THEM WITH YOUR FEELINGS AND ARE WILLING TO BE VULNERABLE WITH THE PERSON – you have true emotional intimacy (by the way, having this kind of trust enhances the physical part of your relationship.)
So….are YOU ready? Think about it.